we are monsters

“His mind followed a dozen terrible paths until he realized, with some comfort, that there was nothing he could do, really, about his situation. He could only sail straight and hope for the best.”

I am where The Wild Things is.

“Is” instead of “are” because I refer to that realm which holds Dave Eggers’ story, inspired by Spike Jonez’s film, inspired by Maurice Sendak’s imagination.  I read it over a year ago at a bus terminal in a town I did not want to leave; nose buried, vision blurred at the portrait of myself in my world that Dave Eggers had written for me: for every me.

I never know which character I am.  Sometimes I am Max. More often I am Carol: so outrageous in my moods, with good intentions that lead to sorrow and tension, with too much love that comes too close to destruction.  Sometimes I am Alexander: these are my worst moments.  I would rather be Carol with all his rage than snivelry, detestable Alex.  Of course this is because so close to my core I am very much Alex.  The only way to be free of him is to forgive him.

Aby is certainly KW.  Always seeing the best in them.

“They’re good owls.  They care.  They just don’t know how to express it.”

I vary between Carol and Max when it comes to the owls.  More often than not they disgust me, they anger me, I resent the attention and love they receive; they are unworthy of it.  But I do try; once in a while I see how they might be cute.  Interesting, they are not.  That just means Aby has a bigger heart than I.

We fought so very much, those days leading up to the big one.  The days afterward were slow, strange.  And now we are here, the marker of markers finally past. I never did want that big day, as it was; it was all cloudy, pomp and circumstance, fake.  I felt that way before, I feel that way now.  But I did not feel so that day; indeed I could declare I was truly happy. And that true happiness, in the moment, is what life is.

I believe that is called “happiness”

So despite my Alexander feelings toward it, I know that I was actually the best me that day, and don’t we live for the days when we are our best? For only then do we truly live. So why do I taint it with these bad feelings? Because it seems my once-upon-a-time dreams are no longer so pretty? Because I need to blame something, someone, for this confusion? Enough.  Enough.

But it is difficult to give up dreams.  When do we allow sense to trump principle, when do we concede the present precedence over past and the future? When is quitting okay? When does its descriptor change? When does the pursuit of happiness surrender to happiness? When did I begin to think that picking cotton is more beautiful than looking at stars? How does one decide? When will this paralysis cease? When do I realize I am awake, or I am dreaming, or I am living what I have always dreamed? Which way is straight?

“Have you ever been in a place that should feel good, but it feels out of control, like you’re really small? Like where all the people are made out of wind, like you don’t know what they’re going to do next?”

We are monsters.  Boomer — she is two things — the bull and the wolf suit.  She varies depending on who I am.  But I would not be complete without her.

We are monsters.  We fight and we build walls.  We laugh and we tear them down. Some days I long for the intimate perfection found in my fantasy books.  Some days I long for quiet disappearance into that impressive route of academia.  But they offer a life akin to that seductive diet of ice cream: at first, divine, but oh so very cold.  And so I realize, as long as we continue to make our own magic, our love is beautiful, our life is beautiful.  Quiet, but constant. Growing slowly.  Well-tended.  God’s steady Hand ever on us and faith lifting our hearts.


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